By Bakari Gueye, 12 December 2013
Nouakchott — French troops killed 19 Islamist militants Tuesday (December 10th) during an army operation in northern Mali, AFP reported.
„A French military operation is under way north of Timbuktu. French troops are facing a pretty determined group. At the moment, 19 members of this group have been killed,“ a Bamako-based French military source said.
„The French troops haven’t reported any deaths or injuries. We are in control of the situation,“ the source added, without specifying which Islamist group the militants were part of.
The violence comes as Malians prepare to vote on Sunday in a second round of parliamentary polls.
According to terrorism expert Sidati Ould Cheikh, „Since the launch of Operation Serval, the armed groups have become weaker, but they are still active in the region. And for some time, they have been going increasingly on the offensive. Many attacks have been carried out over the past three months.“